15 Feb 2005

Cook Islands prepares for onset of Cyclone Nancy

9:23 am on 15 February 2005

The Cook Islands is issuing warnings to people to batten down in preparation for Cyclone Nancy, the second to threaten the country in as many weeks.

The islands of Aitutaki, Rarotonga and Mangaia are still counting up the cost of being battered last week by Cyclone Meena which caused millions of US dollars' worth of damage.

Chief Inspector John Tini at the National Emergency Operations centre says Cyclone Nancy isn't a direct threat at the moment but weather forecasts are being broadcast by radio to alert people.

"Also, at the same time, issuing out warnings to prepare to tie things down, and just to be mindful that there is a tropical cyclone out there and its direction of travel is not yet certain and just to keep alert."

Meanwhile, another cyclone, Olaf, is expected to cause damaging gale force winds in Samoa within the next twenty four to forty eight hours.